Posts Tagged ‘Architect’

Working with an architect for your home

Working with an architect for your home.png

Your home is likely to be your most valuable asset and the process of designing and building or extending it may feel like a daunting prospect.
Hiring an architect is the key to creating your dream home, tailored to your own personal tastes, needs and desires.
Whatever the brief, architects will bring something more to the table. Their extensive formal education and practical experience mean that you can be sure of design quality. And of course, they are professionals, working to strict codes of conduct and service so you are in safe hands

Your home is likely to be your most valuable asset and the process of designing and building or extending it may feel like a daunting prospect.

The Process

This is an outline of the services that can be provided by us at Slemish Design Studio Architects. Full details of the architect’s services along with the terms and conditions will be specific to your project. They will be itemised and agreed with you by your appointed architect.
You can commission an architect for any of the stages you need for your project.
The RIBA’s ‘Plan of Work 2013’ sets out the key stages of a construction project from conception to completion.

RIBA Plan of Work Template

Stage 0 / 1

Preparation and Brief
This is the most important part
of the project and where the architect can add real value.  The architect will undertake some preliminary appraisals to assess the options and feasibility of the project. This can range from a sketch design solution to a full feasibility study and will enable you to decide on the best way forward.
They will identify the need for any approvals and other consultants, most commonly a structural engineer.

Stage 2

Concept Design
Using the initial project brief the architect will develop outline proposals. An architect will present a number of initial concepts for you to choose from. They will also liaise with local planners as a priority. The final design brief should reflect your aspirations and provide you with a home that adds value and improves your quality of life.

Stage 3

Developed Design.
The architect will spend more time at this stage transforming ideas into something that can be built. This includes coordinating the work of other consultants into the designs.
Once agreed, between you, the design proposals will then be submitted for planning approval, if required.

Stage 4

Technical Design
The architect will now prepare the technical drawings and a specification and/or a schedule of works that will be used to price the tender and construct the building.
The architect can then invite and appraise tenders from builders and administer the building contract on your behalf.

Stage 5

Throughout the construction phase, the architect will administer your contract with the builder, carry out regular inspections, deal with queries, instruct any additional work required, monitor progress on site, keep track of the cost, value the works and certify payments due to the builder.

Stage 6

Handover and Close Out
When the project is ready to hand over the architect will make a final inspection and certify completion. The architect will be available after handover and during any defects period to arrange for
certifying the final payment.

fancy working for slemish design studio??



we're hiring

slemish design studio are hiring!!

Due to our increasing workload, Slemish Design Studio is recruiting for a qualified architect and/ or architectural technician to join our Broughshane studio.
Slemish Design Studio is a young, vibrant, design orientated practice with a diverse range of projects. Primarily the focus has been on high-quality residential projects but with an increasing stream of commercial work.

The successful candidate(s) will preferably have some post qualification experience, be fluent in AutoCAD and have a sound working knowledge of the current building regulations. Knowledge of Photoshop and SketchUp would be an advantage.
Proficient English language skills are necessary, with the ability to communicate with clients and other team members.

To apply for this role please send the following items (via email only) to

Your CV
A brief Portfolio
A short cover letter

Things to Consider Before Building an Extension

extension & renovation of existing 300yr old house outside crossmaglen, county armagh

With the New Year just past, you might be considering building an extension onto your current home.

Extensions can be wonderful additions to houses bringing new light and space, new rooms to explore and help improve energy efficiency. However, before the excitement starts take a step back and consider the project from start to finish.
In our experience building an extension can be just as challenging as any new build but hopefully, we can guide you through some of the finer details.

Before working on any extension project we always ask the party involved why they want to build.
To ensure the best result you need to hone in on exactly why you’re setting out on such a large project. Do you want to increase the value of the property? Or maybe you want to improve energy efficiency or living conditions?
Defining why will always lead to a better end result.

Modern Timber Clad Extension Architects Ballymena

timber clad extension to a semi-detached house – to act as an extension of the house & garden

This leads us nicely onto deciding on your aesthetic and physical goals for the project.
The most common requests are for the creation of more light and/or space. This could be due to changes in the environment around you (i.e. more buildings) or the growth of your family.
Alternatively, you might be happy with the space on offer but simply require the layout of your house to be reshaped in a way you’re now more comfortable with.
Extensions aren’t usually just about more space, so figure out what your goal is.

Planning Permission
With your goal, firmly set planning permission may be required and if this is the case it should be your first practical port of call when beginning to move forward with your new plans.
Here in Northern Ireland eleven local councils and the Department of Infrastructure handle the responsibility of planning equally. More information can be found at but please be aware of the possible scale of fees involved.

No matter how awkward you think a chat with your neighbours could be, it’s almost always a good idea before you begin any form of extension project.
Common neighbour concerns usually revolve around the existence of a shared wall, the potential loss of natural light or the potential to overshadow their property, specifically their garden. We recommend you keep anyone potentially affected up-to-date with the project to avoid any trouble.

Whether it’s your primary reason for the project or not, building an extension is a great opportunity to improve the sustainability and energy performance of your home. Depending on the current performance of your property, this can be improved with the help of experienced builders and architects through the implementation of properly insulated walls, double glazed windows and in some cases solar panels.

Architect Involvement
Not everyone plans to use an architect when undertaking an extension project and in many cases, this is perfectly acceptable. However, if you’re inexperienced, don’t have a trusted working relationship with your builder, or require planning permission, we would highly recommend getting in touch with us.  Not only we handle and advise on everything already mentioned, we will also view the project in a holistic manner from start to finish and be able to recommend on both big and small details.

Duration / Time Scale
Finally, extensions are serious projects and this is generally reflected in the duration or time frame involved.
Coming from Northern Ireland, or realistically anywhere in the UK or Ireland, weather should obviously play an important factor in your thinking and ideally, you should plan around the seasons. Take advantage of the darker, wetter seasons to design and plan before scheduling building to commence when spring and summer arrive.


As with everything we’re more than happy to answer questions, offer advice and steer you in the right direction so don’t be afraid to get in touch even if you’re not sure where to start.